Monetary and Financial Perspectives on Retail CBDC in the Thai Context
This paper explores three monetary and financial issues of retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the Thai context. The first insight shows that opportunities in the digital age may arise for Thai citizens and businesses to reap the benefits of a more efficient form of public money and financial innovation. It is possible for Thai citizens to quickly adopt unremunerated CBDC for transactional use within a decade. Second, we point out that there are several ways to utilize retail CBDC for enhancing monetary policy effectiveness, namely, through the bank rate channel and the introduction of new monetary policy tools. Nevertheless, monetary policy should not be the first and foremost objective for the central bank to issue CBDC as there are other factors to consider. These included impacts on the central bank balance sheet and monetary operations, especially for remunerated CBDC. Disintermediation and liquidity risks for Thai financial institutions are also key concerns, which are discussed in the third part. We assess that the risks to the banking sector are low in normal periods, but the well-designed CBDC features are necessary to prevent mounting liquidity risks in distressed periods.